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Why public companies should have public tax returns
19 minutes ago
New orders for manufactured durable goods in March decreased $1.3 billion or 0.8 percent to $161.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This was the seventh decrease in the last eight months and followed a 2.1 percent February increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.6 percent. Excluding defense, new orders also decreased 0.6 percent.
Orders for U.S.-made durable goods fell less than forecast in March, adding to signs the economic slump is easing.
The 0.8 percent decrease reported by the Commerce Department today in Washington compares with an anticipated 1.5 percent drop, according to the median of 68 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The news was tempered by revisions to February figures that showed a 2.1 percent gain in orders, smaller than the government previously reported.
Economists project any economic recovery in the second half of the year may be muted as government measures to revive growth will take time to gain traction. General Motors Corp. is planning on idling 13 plants for multiple weeks from May through July, and other companies may keep cutting spending and slash jobs until demand here and abroad shows sustained gains.
United Parcel Service Inc., the world’s largest package-delivery company, posted a profit that trailed estimates and forecast second-quarter earnings short of analysts’ projections as the recession curbs shipping.
First-quarter net income fell 56 percent to $401 million, or 40 cents a share, the company said today. Excluding non-cash costs to write down the value of UPS’s 40-year-old fleet of DC-8 jets, profit was 52 cents a share, trailing the 56-cent average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
UPS is considered a bellwether for economic health because it handles business and consumer packages worldwide. It said profit this quarter would be 45 cents to 55 cents a share, less than the 66-cent average among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“Economic indicators tell us recovery in the U.S. might begin late this year, but more likely not until 2010,” Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said in a statement.
Sales slid 14 percent to $10.9 billion, only the second quarterly drop since Atlanta-based UPS first sold shares to the public in 1999.
A theory which says the market is in an upward trend if one of its averages (industrial or transportation) advances above a previous important high, it is accompanied or followed by a similar advance in the other.
U.S. home prices rose 0.7 percent in February from January, the first consecutive monthly gain in two years, a sign that low interest rates may be moderating declines in real estate values.
Prices fell 6.5 percent in February from a year earlier, the second-smallest drop in six months, led by a 19 percent decrease in the region that includes California, the most populous U.S. state, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in Washington said today. The gain in February from a month earlier matched the average of 10 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
Mortgage rates have tumbled 1.6 percentage points in six months, making houses and condominiums more affordable. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of applications to purchase a home or refinance a loan increased 5.3 percent last week as Americans took advantage of interest rates near record lows. Home sales rose 5.1 percent in February from a month earlier, the National Association of Realtors said March 23.
“As demand firms, and once inventories of houses and a broad range of goods are brought into line with sales, economic activity should begin to stabilize,” Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn said in an April 20 speech in Delaware.
The inventory of properties on the market fell to a 9.7 month supply in February at the current sales pace, down from April’s high of 11.3 months, and sales rose 5.1 percent from a month earlier, the Realtors group said.